General questions about Advantage
Q1 Do the programs cover abattoirs and
other meat processing plants? What about dairy plants? Fruit and
vegetable processors? Other commodities?
A1 Yes, the Advantage Series of Food Safety Programs
apply to all food processing facilities. It does not matter what
commodity you process or the regulations some commodities might
have to meet.
Q2 How does the Advantage Series
of Food Safety Programs relate to or fit in with Ontario
A2 Advantage programs complement current food safety
regulations. They do not replace these regulations. Facilities
must comply with applicable food safety regulations whether or
not they adopt any Advantage program(s).
Questions about implementing Advantage
Q1 How costly are Advantage GMP,
Advantage HACCP, and Advantage HACCP Plus to implement?
A1 Through extensive research, stakeholder discussions, and in-plant
testing, OMAFRA has developed an approach to HACCP
- is feasible and practical for Ontario's small and medium-sized
facilities to implement
- will maximize food safety.
There are many factors that will affect the cost of a program.
It depends on the extent of the changes you will need to make,
based on such factors as:
- the condition of your facility
- the number of products or processes
- the degree to which your facility already meets Good Manufacturing
Practices (GMP) requirements.
Just remember: there may be costs associated with implementing
HACCP, but a well-designed and implemented HACCP system can actually
help decrease costs in certain areas. For example, your operation
can identify product flow bottlenecks. You can monitor efficient
use of sanitation chemicals. And, your employees will be trained
to identify potential problems before they occur.
Q2 Could a small business with less
than 10 employees implement the Advantage Series of Food Safety
A2 Yes. The programs were developed to be feasible for even very
small facilities. Small facilities may need to be extra careful
when doing a gap and cost-benefit analysis before deciding to
implement an Advantage program. It's important to ensure your
expectations are realistic.
Q3 Will facilities be required to implement
A3 No, facilities are not required to implement HACCP. The Advantage
Series of Food Safety Programs has been developed as
a voluntary program. It will be up to individual facilities to
assess whether the benefits of implementing the program will make
it economically feasible to do so.
Q4 Does OMAFRA have a staffed helpline
(phone, email) for the Advantage Series of Food Safety Programs?
A4 Yes. OMAFRA has established an email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
and a toll-free helpline: 1 877 424-1300
Q5 How long will it take to implement
an Advantage food safety program?
A5 The time required to implement an Advantage program
will depend on:
- the condition of your facility
- how well you are already meeting GMP
and HACCP requirements.
Some facilities will have extensive food safety systems in place
and few facility upgrades to make. Others may require more substantial
preparations. These facilities will require more time to implement
Advantage. Generally, the implementation period ranges
from eight to eighteen months.
Questions about Advantage certification
Q1 How much will it cost to get Advantage
A1 There is a fee for certification from the auditing body. For
more information, please contact 1 877 424-1300 or email email@example.com.
Q2 How will you ensure consistency and
fairness with a third party system for certification or recognition?
A2 To ensure consistency and fairness:
Q3 Will OMAFRA list facilities certified
under Advantage on its web site?
A3 Yes, OMAFRA posts certified
facilities after their certification status has been confirmed.
Q4 Can my facility get Advantage
certification outside OMAFRA and the certification body?
A4 No. Other HACCP
audit and service providers can be an excellent resource. They
can even provide valuable information regarding a HACCP system.
But Advantage programs will be officially certified only
through the authorized certification body. This ensures a level
of consistency, transparency and government oversight for the
auditing process that will prove valuable to the program as a
Q5 What happens if there is a food
-related illness / incident involving a plant certified under
Advantage GMP, HACCP or HACCP Plus?
A5 During a certification or surveillance audit, a review of the
food safety program will take place. But those results reflect
the circumstances that existed only at a single point in time
- the day of the audit. The continued maintenance of the food
safety program is the responsibility of the plant operator. When
you implement Advantage food safety programs, you take
control of food safety. Any food-related illnesses from products
developed by the plant that take place following the audit are
still the responsibility of the facility to follow-up with and
take appropriate action